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Home & Garden

Garden and green bean Safety: Serve up fresh produce, not foodborne illness

The nutrition/wellness and horticulture teams at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach continue the quickinar videos talking about how to keep produce safe from garden to table

AMES — This week’s Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep instructional video from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will talk about keeping garden produce safe, and also canning green beans.

The warmer weather is helping gardens grow and bloom. Gardeners should make sure they are not harvesting pests and bacteria that can cause foodborne illness along with their fruits and vegetables. During this week’s session, gardeners will learn steps to take to keep their garden produce safe, including keeping animals out of their garden and washing their hands properly.

Gardeners will likely be busy harvesting fresh green beans soon. If you’re wondering how you can enjoy this tasty vegetable year-round, consider canning. Vegetables, like green beans, are low acid foods that must be pressure canned to kill harmful bacteria and prevent spoilage. Pressure canning tends to scare people who are new to canning.

However, it becomes less scary when we learn more about it. The key to safe home food preservation is to find a tested recipe and follow the instructions carefully. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach uses the National Center for Home Food Preservation website and recipes and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Complete Guide to Home Canning. The webinar will provide general information about pressure canning.

For more detailed information on pressure canning, check out the ISU Extension and Outreach Food Preservation 101 online class and the Canning: Vegetables publication for more food preservation information.

For those interested in learning more about gardening, contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office for information about the Master Gardener program. Training begins across the state this fall.

ISU Extension and Outreach will continue hosting weekly Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep quickinars. These quickinars will be 5-15 minute online lessons of seasonally appropriate topics for the garden, food preparation and food preservation. Some of the upcoming topics include:

• Herbs

• Growing tomatoes

• Freezing vegetables

• Canning apple pie filling

• Summer squash

• Salsa making

Send your food or garden questions to sowgroweatkeep@iastate.edu.

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